Italian Library Association and the Public Lending Right
In many European countries, libraries pay a fee to copyright owners based on circulation statistics, in addition to buying the books outright. (And many European countries don’t do this.) This is called the “remuneration principle.” The new policies that come with the European Union are pressuring member states that don’t have this system to start it up (without letting them spend less to buy books in the first place).
Italy is one country that has just introduced a new law that requires libraries to pay these fees, and the Italian Library Association is taking a stand against it (scroll down for the English version) in a statement to EBLIDA (the European organization of library associations).
It is the same fight all over. But I wish it were not conceived of as a fight against globalization, because even though globalization has turned out to be an excuse for privatization and neoliberal policy changes, the two trends can be thought of separately. There is no reason, in principle anyway, that globalization couldn’t bring along with it more socialist policies instead, and happen through the UN instead of the WTO and other organizations driven by a market philosophy. Globalization is problematic for its own reasons, but neoliberal policies are only tied to it by historical accident…
Thanks to Mark Rosenzweig for sharing this with multiple discussion lists.